Scripture tells us that long ago when the Israelites were about to cross the Jordan River and enter the promised land, they had to first defeat the people who lived in the city of Jericho. After 40 years of hardship in the desert, after over 400 years in slavery in Egypt, I imagine the people wondered if anything would ever come easy for them. Life had been tough for them, and it seemed that it was about to get a bit tougher. Or was it?
Jericho was positioned along the river and fortified by walls to give it a strong defense against an enemy. In Joshua 6:1-2 we read, “Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua: See, I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.”
Each of us need to have some of the qualities that made Joshua the man God choose to lead His people after the death of Moses. Joshua had walked with Moses and had been his servant most all his life. He had witnessed firsthand many of the miracles God had worked on behalf of the people. But there are several things about Joshua that made him the right person to lead the people to conquer the Promised Land. Everywhere Joshua would go, walls would fall around his enemies. Joshua had no failures in his life. So why is this so? Well, for every external enemy he saw, Joshua conquered within himself an internal wall that would have kept him from the successes God had planned for him and the Israelites.
First, Joshua had the character to see what God saw. For every problem he had seen and faced, Joshua saw things the way God saw things. There was never a problem or circumstance that was too big for God to handle. When people saw the Egyptians as oppressors, Joshua saw them as a path to God’s deliverance. Joshua did not focus on what seemed like the problem, he focused on the surety of the Problem Solver. Joshua wasn’t afraid of what he saw or what he faced; he was afraid of what he might miss if he didn’t focus on the strong hand of God. Joshua broke down the walls of fear and hopelessness within himself that would have kept him from seeing the never forsaken presence and favor of God.
If you have something that has beset you for a time and you cannot break down its walls, perhaps it is because you are looking more at your circumstance than at you and your God. If you cannot find something within in you and about you that you must overcome, you will make it difficult to overcome the things that go against you. God’s favor and power comes to us more directly and more easily when we come to Him with our needs to overcome our own selves.
Joshua also had the character to believe what was going to be right and never what could go wrong. I guess I should say Joshua was a positive-minded person who saw the world God created and promised to His people for all its good. Joshua saw the Red Sea as the death of the Egyptians who pursued the Israelites while the Israelites saw it as a wall they could not overcome. They saw it as a place where things were about to go wrong for them. They were just as-good-as-dead, so they complained and made just as-good-as-dead decisions. Joshua, on the other hand, saw the Red Sea as a pathway to their new life, so he made new life decisions. He was thinking about his new home when the Israelites were thinking about going back to their old lives of bondage to save themselves from death.
We must learn to see life with God more than circumstances without Him. To do this we must learn to break down our walls of negative thinking and as-good-as-dead living. It doesn’t matter what we face, it doesn’t matter what we have done, it doesn’t matter what others say or believe about us; those walls will fall in us when we learn to believe God when He says He will never leave us nor forsake us. We may not always see the way God will do things, but we must break down the walls inside us that say we cannot stand and wait on God. If you want to overcome the mess that is round about you, learn to overcome the wall of a mess within you that keeps you from God’s favor and power.
Finally, Joshua also had the character of strong courage. But this is not the courage to fight and defeat the enemy before him. This is the courage to fight and defeat the enemy within oneself. What is this enemy you ask? The one who would make you think that you can handle some of your problems on your own. Joshua was challenged by God Himself to be strong and courageous so he could observe and do according to all that God commanded him to do. Joshua found this easy to do. But today you and I find it hard to do what God wants us to do because we have become the type of people who want to bring justice to everyone who has ever done a single thing wrong towards us.
Favor does not come more easily to us because of what we say or do. Favor comes more for the way we live. If you want to walk in the favor and power of God, you must do is to learn to shut your mouth and learn to walk the way God would walk. God can do His own talking. But if we are going to be instruments of His voice, we must learn to overcome the walls of our own lips and desires. God can do more in your life when you live in such a way that God speaks more for you than you do for yourself. When you are your own protector, when you are your own judge, when you are your own avenger, when you use God to do these things for you, then you are living your way rather than His way. Joshua lived in a way that the acts of God were manifested through him and the nature of God was glorified by him.
So, what about you and me? Do we have the character to break down the walls in our lives that keep us from seeing things as God sees them? Do we have the character to break down the walls in our lives? Do we have the character to see life with Him and what will go right for us more than what could go wrong for us? Do we have the character to break down the walls in our lives that keep us from living strong and courageously fighting the enemy that is within us before we take on the enemy that is before us?
Seven days Joshua led the Israelites to walk around the city of Jericho before the walls of the city fell and the people there were conquered. If you have the character to walk around your life even one time, you will find walls to break down, walls surrounding what keeps you from living a conquered life. Then the favor of God will find a place to rest on you. Live a Delivered Life. Love you.